At BioSquare 2004, ESA will present the range of opportunities for industrial utilisation of the International Space Station (ISS) within the field of biotechnology, from drug development to the production of artificial organs.
The ESA Commercial Promotion Office and ESA's Technology Transfer Programme will inform participants about the services offered by ESA, and ESA's partners, to biotechnology companies for the commercial utilisation of the ISS.
ISS is a large research laboratory in space. It provides a unique environment, non reproducible on Earth, that allows physical and biological phenomena to be observed without the 'distortion' generated by Earth’s gravity.
The research facilities on board the Station, together with regular access and the possibility for continual use, offer an unprecedented opportunity for industry to conduct application-oriented research under weightlessness conditions for long periods and with the presence of astronauts for experimentation.
In biotechnology, research in weightlessness provides an opportunity for scientists to understand the role of gravity at the molecular level, in cell physiology and on development processes, offering new business opportunities in the areas of scientific research, technology development and testing.
Mr M. Belingheri, Head of the ESA Commercial Promotion Office, said: "Our goal is to help the biotechnology industry to achieve fast innovation in their products and processes by providing all the support our customer needs, from developing their vision to the successful conclusion of their projects."
BioSquare 2004 will take place in Basel, Switzerland, from 10 to 12 March 2004.
At the opening ceremony on Wednesday 10 March, ESA will present “Biotech in Space: High-Flying Bio-sciences”, a 3-D view of the International Space Station. There will also be an overview of applied research possibilities presented by a team of scientists who have already performed biotechnology research in space.
At their stand in the main hall the ESA Commercial Promotion Office will showcase biological research facilities including Biolab, a complete biological laboratory that will be installed on the European Columbus Module of the International Space Station.